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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pattern of messenger ribonucleic acid expression of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) during testicular maturation in male mice lacking a functional TIMP-1 gene.

It has been proposed that proteolytic remodeling of the testicular extracellular matrix ( ECM) plays a fundamental role in testicular development, morphogenesis, and spermatogenesis. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 regulates ECM turnover and has been reported to stimulate Leydig cell steroidogenesis. To assess the developmental changes in TIMP mRNA expression and the potential steroidogenic role of TIMP-1 in testicular physiology, an experiment was conducted that used male mice incapable of expressing the TIMP-1 gene product. TIMP-1-deficient and wild-type male mice (n = 6 to 15 per age group per genotype) were killed at 18, 21, 24, 27, 33, 41, and 49 days of age. Body weight, testis weight, serum total testosterone, and TIMP-1, -2, -3, and -4 transcript expression were determined. Northern analysis revealed the detection of TIMP-1 mRNA in wild-type males only. TIMP-1 mRNA levels (per 20 microg total RNA) were highest in 18- to 27-day-old male mice and decreased approximately 13-fold by Day 41. The pattern of TIMP-2 expression was similar between genotypes, with testicular levels of the 1. 0-kilobase transcript increasing between Days 18 and 27 of age. The pattern of TIMP-3 transcript expression (per 20 microg total RNA) was similar between genotypes and decreased between Days 18 and 41 of age. When TIMP-3 mRNA levels were expressed on a per testis basis, TIMP-3 was seen to have increased throughout testicular development. TIMP-4 mRNA expression was undetectable by Northern analysis in all mice. No significant difference was detected in body weight or testis weight between genotypes, with the exceptions that 21-day-old TIMP-1 mutants had higher (p < 0.05) testis weights and lower (p < 0. 05) serum total testosterone levels than age-matched wild-type males. It is concluded that each TIMP displays its own unique pattern of expression during the prepubertal period, suggesting that the various TIMPs may have specific roles in testicular development. The modest effect of TIMP-1 ablation on testosterone is interpreted to mean that TIMP-1 may function as a coregulator of basal testicular steroidogenesis; but overall, TIMP-1 appears to have little effect on testosterone production in mice lacking the TIMP-1 gene.[1]


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